Grant allows clinic to seek a new home

LAWRENCEVILLE - Now that they have the money, Hope Clinic officials are looking for a new home for their clinic.

Through Gwinnett County, the clinic was recently awarded a $1 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant. The funds will allow them to move out of the Pike Street facility they are currently renting and into a building twice its size.

"We are looking at two locations, and both are 10,000 square feet, which will allow us, at a minimum, to double our capacity for the uninsured," said Pam Martin, Hope Clinic executive director. She said the clinic currently serves about 5,000 uninsured patients.

The clinic, founded in 2002, provides an alternative to hospital emergency rooms for non-life-threatening acute care and aims to help patients take control of their chronic diseases - especially diabetes and heart disease - and keep them under control.

Pam Martin said she and her husband, clinic director Dr. Bill Martin, hope to be moved into the new building by the first of the year. But like all nonprofits in the county, she said, Hope Clinic is struggling.

The grant will allow them to purchase a new building, but it will need renovations, Martin said. Additionally, they hope to hire a new physician and "mid-level provider." To address those needs, Martin said they will begin at least an 18-month capital campaign in July to meet with the "philanthropic and donor community."

She said they hope to become known to folks who have the heart to help a clinic that helps everyone.

"We are a Christian clinic, but we are a community clinic, a public charity," Martin said. "We see anyone regardless of race, religion or ability to pay ... that's our calling, to be there for those folks."